As the fastest route to us was via Shin-Yokohama Station, we still managed to save a fair bit of time as we didn’t have to go through Tokyo.
After we arrived at Shin-Yokohama Station, we headed for the 新幹線 (shinkansen) ticket booth and got our tickets.
The wait for the 新幹線 was pretty short, thankfully.
We hopped on and had a fair bit of space as not many people boarded, so Gabe took some seats for himself and I had some space as well, so we were able to spread out a bit.
It took a few minutes to adjust to the faster speed, but once I did, I felt fine.
It was the first time I’ve ever gone that fast. It was pretty amazing.
Obviously it felt faster, but looking out the window didn’t make it seem faster.
I was able to feel the train I was on move when another passed in the opposite direction.
Overall, it was pretty wonderful.
Despite it taking a while, getting from Kawaguchiko Station to Osaka didn’t feel as though it took long.
I was pretty tired and eventually started to feel sore (going down Mount Fuji took its toll on my legs), so I’m assuming it was a combination of being worn out plus the experience of getting on a 新幹線 that made me not think too much about how long it was.
Anyway, we reached Shin-Osaka station and headed straight to the next train as we wanted to get to our next hostel (Tani-9 backpackers at 谷町九丁目駅 (Tanimachi Kyūchōme (Tanimachi-9-chome)).
The station was not fun for me. At this point my legs were very sore.
To get to the exit we had to use, it involved going down a flight of stairs, then up another flight of stairs (to get past the train track), then up another flight of stairs.
Once we checked in, there were more stairs to deal with and then the sweet, sweet release of bed comfort.
It was our first non-private room of the trip so I was a bit nervous as I’d not been in a shared room before.
Thankfully, my concerns ended up being invalid.
Shortly after arriving, I talked to one of the people staying at the hostel.
He was interested in climbing Mount Fuji, but as he was heading out, I told him I’d tell him about it in the morning.
He asked if I wanted to head out for drinks, as he and a bunch of others from the hostel were going out for the evening.
I declined as I was going to be having dinner with Gabe and one of his friends (who was also in Japan)
From Ōtsuki Station to where we were, I had been trying to get a message to the woman and man to let them know that there was no bus connecting to a 新幹線 .
However, I was unable to as I wasn’t able to get a stable internet connection.
Somewhere between arriving at Osaka and the hostel, I was finally able to get the message through, but they would have already worked it out by that point.
I let them know that I was going to go to Osaka Aquarium on the following day and as they were as well, I hoped we’d meet there at the same time.
After resting for a short while, we met up with Gabe’s friend and headed off for food.
There was a lot of walking that evening.
Somewhere around two hours was spent looking for somewhere to eat.
This was due to heading in the wrong direction at one point and Gabe being indecisive about what to eat.
With that being said, It’s also possible that Gabe wasn’t being indecisive and we were thinking places weren’t as far away from us as they actually were.
I can’t quite remember.
Anyway, all the walking was taking it out of me, but I kept on going as I wanted to eat something.
After about twenty-five minutes, we found a place and went in.
No one wanted to get food from there, but we did get sake.
So we left and went back to walking around, eventually ending up in a large district full of places to eat.
Luckily food came shortly after.
We went into a place that served donkey-free bier.
I’m not sure what that is and I didn’t find out (as I don’t like beer).
I had a burger patty with a curry and it was pretty decent.
I also had a parfait. It may have been the first one I’ve ever had in my life.
It was filled with various chocolate-based items and had a rich, but not overpowering, taste to it.
It was the highlight of the meal for me.
We were there for a little while, talking about stuff that I can’t quite remember.
Eventually Gabe and I headed back to the hostel, where sleep was reached quite quickly.
This probably has to do with not only being tired from Mount Fuji, but also the amount of time spent walking around Osaka looking for food.
Getting back pretty late was also certainly a contributing factor.
The following morning I woke up feeling much more pained than the previous day.
I planned to go wandering in the morning, but this did not come to be.
Instead I sat downstairs with some of the other people staying at the hostel, talking about what we were doing, what to bring to Mount Fuji, things that aren’t great about Sydney and other places, refugees, travel, work, and our plans for the day.
The guy who went out with others staying in the hostel spent a short part of the morning looking for his wallet.
Luckily it was not lost.
Gabe and I were meeting up with his friend in the morning and going card shopping, as both Gabe and his friend enjoy Magic: The Gathering.
I used to take a fair bit of interest in it, so I didn’t mind going along.
After that, Gabe and I were going to go to Osaka Aquarium together.
One of the other people staying in the hostel (Ben) was also going, so we decided to meet up that afternoon and head together.
The guy had to check out and said his goodbyes.
He was heading to Kyoto for a few days but wanted to spend a few more hours checking out Osaka.
Eventually Gabe and I headed off to meet up with his friend.
This ended up taking us much longer than expected.
We were to meet at Namba Station and go from there.
Gabe and I exited from the wrong area and ended up spending somewhere close to forty-five minutes trying to find where we were meant to go.
We ran into the guy again who told us about some places to check out in Osaka (gaming-related), before we parted ways.
Once we met up with Gabe’s friend, we headed for a gaming store nearby.
I liked a fair bit of what they had in stock (the range was massive), but I did not buy anything.
We then went to get food.
I had another burger patty with curry as I wanted to have another.
Again, it was pretty decent.
Gabe’s friend and I discussed cameras for a while (he also enjoys photography).
After we finished eating and began to make our way to a card store, I played around with a long lens he had for a few minutes.
Card shopping was interesting.
I liked how easy it was to get booster packs of various editions of various card games, as well as how easy it was to buy single cards as well.
Beyond that, I didn’t feel as though it was something special, although this is due to my own tastes.
Eventually I headed off as I wanted to see if I could find a record store and do some wandering.
Gabe wanted to spend some more time with his friend as well as look for a place to buy thongs (his shoes weren’t big enough for his feet), so he messaged Ben (as he was able to contact Ben much easier than I was able to) to let him know I was on my way.
I came across a record pretty quickly, but they didn’t have what I wanted.
I was looking for Japanese drone, experimental and dark ambient and was hoping to pick some up whilst I was in Japan.
Still, I was happy to have found a record store.
After killing a bit too much time, I made my way back to Nankai-Namba Station as quickly as I could.
I got back to the hostel late, but Ben was late as well and only arrived a few minutes before me.
After a brief respite, we headed off to Osaka Aquarium.
During the trip we had a conversation about life that, whilst making jokes, was fairly serious.
At one point I mentioned how I think it’s conviction that people hold that sees them realise their dreams and goals.
For we can have all the dreams and desires in the world and the determination and desires that go with them, but if we don’t have a firmly held conviction within ourselves, what chances are there of everything else being any more than discarded ashes of fading hopes?
Osaka Aquarium was amazing for me.
Seeing so many different species of fish and various other creatures made me feel quite excited.
The otters were pretty cute.
Seeing them run around and swim energetically put a smile on my face.
Although, with that being said, everything made me smile there.
The whale sharks were as majestic as they were large.
Their tank also had many other fish in it that were fun to see.
The ocean sunfish was an interesting creature to see.
I knew they weren’t as good at maneuvering as other fish were, but I wasn’t expecting the one I saw to live up to the reputation it had.
Seeing the Japanese spider crabs and their spindly appendages was exciting.
Seeing them do what looked like a dance when food was put in their tank was also exciting.
I enjoyed the aquarium a lot.
I was still in pain when Ben and I were there, but I was so happy seeing all the creatures that it didn’t bother me much.
However, when I think back on it, I can see areas where it needed severe improvement.
Some of the tanks needed to be expanded in some way as they weren’t big enough for some of the creatures (the dolphins, seals, whale sharks, and sunfish come to mind).
Some of the tanks needed to be better maintained as well, as they were far dirtier than they should have been.
Obviously there is only so much that can be done, but I still feel there isn’t as much being done as there possibly could be.
I do hope that it does improve.
We checked out some of the merchandise available for purchase and got some small figures from the capsule vending machines there.
I ended up with a whale shark and Japanese spider crab (I wanted the crab, so I was satisfied with that), whilst Ben ended up with a penguin, which was listed as a mystery figurine.
When we left the Aquarium, it had begun to rain, so we moved as quickly as we could to get back to the hostel.
My boots were still a bit damp from Mount Fuji, so the last thing I wanted was for them to take on more water.
Luckily the rain eased up quickly and the trip back was fairly uneventful.
I can’t remember if this was closer to the start of our trip to the aquarium or on the way back, but we discussed vegetarianism and veganism, as well as what we wanted to do with our lives.
I know I had told Ben that I wanted to be a marine scientist.
He told me he was going to go and pick fruit once he returned to Australia (he was from Melbourne), as well as travel a bit more.
Once we got back, we went to the rooftop and checked out the view.
It was a decent view of the street our hostel was on as we didn’t have any obstructions in front of us.
That night in the hostel, we encountered a Japanese guy who had us write our dreams on a whiteboard and took a photo of us.
He said that when he was on holidays from studying, he traveled around Japan on a motor scooter and had people write their dreams down and take pictures of them whilst he was traveling.
We thought it was pretty cool.
Gabe had headed out to dinner with his friend, so he wasn’t around.Subsequently, I went to bed fairly early.
I said goodnight to Ben and hoped he would be awake in the morning as this was his last night at Tani-9 Backpackers.